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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that in 2013, drowsy driving contributed to 72,000 collisions that killed 800 people and left 44,000 others injured. It’s an extreme outcome that is, unfortunately, not surprising. Various sleep studies have shown that when you drive after 24 hours without sleep, it is the equivalent of driving with…

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Anyone who files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York will have to include a form called a Statement of Intention, which is used to provide the following information to your creditors, trustee, and the court: Which debts are secured by collateral (secured) How you plan to address your secured debts Although the automatic stay…

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When you are injured in a car crash in New York, your insurance provider will cover your basic economic losses in accordance with the state’s “No Fault” insurance law. If you sustained serious injuries (e.g., fractures or permanent loss of a body part) or your medical bills exceed $50,000, then you can sue the other…

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Some debtors who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy try to minimize their losses by paying back preferred creditors like friends and family and transferring property that’s not likely to be protected by a bankruptcy exemption. When this happens, the bankruptcy trustee has the legal authority to undo these transactions and claim the money and property…

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Ever since your car accident, which left you in constant pain, you’ve been noticing an unfamiliar car parked near your home. Today, you receive a strange friend request on Facebook. Although there may be a routine explanation for these incidents, it’s equally possible that the negligent driver’s insurance adjuster is using a private investigator to…

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Carpooling has been hailed as a convenient and environmentally-friendly way for employees to travel to work. Consequently, many companies across New York have been offering carpool incentive programs that connect workers who live near one another and enable them to enjoy a less-stressful commute. Carpools, however, are like any other form of travel in that…

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Rising costs of living and years spent pursuing post-secondary education have resulted in many children living with their parents well past the age of 18. When families are intact, they can work together to reach a financial understanding, but when the parents are divorced, it raises questions about child support. In New York State, you…

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While money issues are a leading cause of marital breakdown, they can also make it hard to start over after a divorce. In fact, an estimated 15% of couples choose to legally separate instead of divorce due to concerns over the damaging effect that dissolution can have on your income, expenses, and credit score. There’s…

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When you file for bankruptcy in New York, your debts will become creditor claims. Under bankruptcy law, they are divided into two categories: secured vs. unsecured and, within the latter, priority vs. non-priority. These distinctions dictate which ones get paid first and which ones get paid at all. What are secured claims? Secured debts are…

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You may not have cared much about Valentine’s Day in the past. All those throwaway cards, overpriced roses, and less-than-spectacular chocolate may have struck you as flagrant consumerism more than anyone else. Now that you’re divorced, your feelings may be different, because Valentine’s Day is now a reminder that you’re alone, with no one to…

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According to the New York Department of Health, between 2012 and 2014, an average of 1,098 people were killed in accidents on state roads per year. There were also approximately 12,093 hospitalizations and 136,913 emergency department visits per year. New York State law requires all cars registered in the state to carry the following minimum…

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No engaged couple likes to think that their upcoming marriage may not last. You may worry about offending your fiance(e) by suggesting a prenuptial agreement, but if you own a business, it may be worth it to risk hard feelings in order to protect the company’s future. The hard reality is that a contentious divorce…

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Last September, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released the latest quarterly consumer credit trends report. This document, whose primary purpose is to track how the frequency and types of bankruptcy filings have varied since 2001, also examines issues like: BAPCA effect on the frequency of Chapter 7 filings Discharge rates for Chapter 7 bankruptcies vs.…

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When you file for divorce in New York, all property acquired while you were married is subject to an equitable division and distribution. This includes real estate, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and, to the surprise of some couples, pension benefits earned while you and your spouse were still together. If you are divorcing on amicable…

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Veterans of the U. S. military sometimes struggle financially after they return from active duty.    Physical and/or emotional injuries (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 an estimated 41% of Gulf War-era veterans had a disability related to their service) or a personal crisis like divorce can make it impossible for them to…

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QDRO is an acronym for “qualified domestic relations order.” If you file for divorce in New York and one spouse has a retirement plan through their workplace, a QDRO provides the other spouse with the right to receive a specified percentage of the payable benefits. A QDRO can be applied to various types of retirement…

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Distracted driving has long been a concern for New York lawmakers. In 2001, it became the first state to ban handheld phones use while driving, and in 2009 a law was passed that prohibited texting and driving. Under New York’s current law, using your cellphone while driving is strictly prohibited. Anyone who uses their phone…

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A third quarter report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data found that in the third quarter of last year, overall household debt jumped 0.7% to $13.95 trillion. Nominally speaking, this total exceeds the previous peak of $12.68 trillion, which was reported in the third quarter of 2008. The report…

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When the holiday season begins, many retailers and shipping companies hire seasonal help. Last month United Parcel Service (UPS) hired 100,000 temporary workers to handle an anticipated 32 million packages a day. The activity rate at this time of year goes up by an estimated 60%, so seasonal help is an essential part of making…

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Luxury retailer Barneys, which recently filed for bankruptcy, outraged loyal customers when it declared that after November 7, store gift cards could no longer be used. One of them, who was now out $100, griped to the New York Post, “This is theft.” It’s a situation that has made New York shoppers justifiably nervous. Gift…

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The holiday season in New York involves a lot of decorating, cooking, gift exchanges, and overall good cheer. It can also involve some injuries that include falling while setting up the Christmas tree, burns from electrical equipment or candles, stepping on broken ornaments, and slipping on icy walkways leading to your house or apartment building.…

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For many people, divorce leads to long-distance parenting. According to the National Center for State Courts, nearly one-quarter of the nearly 18 million children of divorce have a parent living in another city. In addition, an estimated 75% of single mothers will move at least once within four years after divorce or separation. As a…

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Most of us have a tendency to overspend during the holiday season, even when we’re months behind on our credit card payments and other bills. Although you want your loved ones to have a memorable Christmas morning, excessive spending during the months leading up to bankruptcy can cause serious problems for your case. If you…

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During the holiday season, candle use surges in New York households. There’s something especially festive about a flickering taper combined with the scent of vanilla, apple cider, gingerbread, and that perennial favorite, evergreen. No wonder stores like Bath and Body Works are filled to capacity throughout December! Unfortunately, candle use has also led to tragedy.…

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Shopping malls are chaotic places all year round, but during the weeks leading up to Christmas, The Mall at Bay Plaza and other locations are packed with holiday shoppers, increasing the risk of injury. Black Friday is especially notorious for causing injury and even death when too many bargain hunters converge on the same location…

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One of the hardest—and most emotional—aspects of separation and divorce is child custody during the holidays. In many cases, it won’t be possible for your children to celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah with both parents. How can you keep the holidays special when only one parent is with them when they unwrap their gifts on Christmas…

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If you walk through the streets of New York City, then you’ll inevitably run into someone in loose, comfortable clothing, headed for their favorite yoga studio with a rolled mat under their arm. Yoga has been acclaimed for its physical and mental benefits, but like most activities, there is always the risk of injury. In…

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Not all car crashes are between two or more vehicles. Many auto accidents involve a single vehicle and driver, which can raise questions of liability. The most common example is run-off-road crashes, which occur when a car leaves the roadway and goes into the ditch or collides with inanimate objects, such as trees, buildings, telephone…

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In 2012, former astronaut Neil Armstrong died in an alleged case of medical malpractice. The 82-year-old had undergone cardiac bypass surgery in August and, according to leaked documents, experienced a tear when a nurse removed the wires from his temporary pacemaker, causing him to suffer internal bleeding. The staff at Mercy Health — Fairfield Hospital…

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In August, the New York Times reported that an 18-year-old man had appeared in the emergency room of a Long Island hospital, complaining of dizziness, vomiting, and shortness of breath. When one of his attending physicians asked if he had been vaping, the young man firmly denied it. The patient’s brother, a police officer, wasn’t…

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When you get married, it legally changes your financial situation. Now everything you earn or acquire becomes marital property, unless a third party gifted or bequeathed something exclusively to you. When you intermingle your finances after marriage, how does it affect your debt liability? If your spouse has student loans, credit card debt, and other…

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One of the biggest misconceptions about filing for bankruptcy is that you’re going to “lose everything.” A lot of people don’t learn the truth until they’re desperate enough to consult a bankruptcy attorney and learn that in New York, they can use state or federal exemptions to protect property up to a certain value. How…

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In New York, when a child is born to married parents, the presumption is that the husband is the legal father. When the parents are unmarried, it gets complicated. The law does not assume that the mother’s current boyfriend is the child’s father, and steps need to be taken before the putative father receives parental…

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Technically, yes. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Once a New York family court has issued a custody order, you and the other parent are bound by its terms unless you apply for a modification, which is generally granted only if you can demonstrate that circumstances have changed significantly since the order was…

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When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York, your attorney will tell you that in exchange for having all dischargeable debt wiped out, you will have to surrender any nonexempt property to the trustee for sale and distribution to your creditors. How does this requirement affect your household goods and furniture? Will you…

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If someone else’s negligent conduct caused you to be injured, you may be able to sue for compensation. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a personal injury attorney could help you recover compensatory damages, which address past and projected economic losses, and punitive damages, which are intended to punish the negligent party and discourage…

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No one likes sitting in traffic for hours at a time, but New Yorkers don’t typically have a choice. According to a 2017 survey, the average round-trip commute for those who work in the city comes to nearly 58 minutes. That’s around nine minutes longer than the national average of 49 minutes. Several studies confirm…

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In February 2018, a Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix to Portland was delayed when a six-year-old girl attempted to pet another passenger’s emotional support dog and was left with a mark on her forehead. She was treated by paramedics and was able to fly, but the dog and its owner were not permitted to remain…

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that in 2016, the top source of consumer complaints was inaccurate credit reporting. When you’re trying to rebuild after bankruptcy, a defective credit report can be a major obstacle. Your credit rating dictates whether you will be approved for a credit card, personal loan, or mortgage and, if so,…

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Our self-esteem is tied closely to our appearance, which is why scars and other disfigurements that result from a catastrophic accident can be so devastating. Although plastic surgery can correct physical scarring to a certain extent, it can take months of medical treatment and psychological counseling to help you deal with what happened. Accidents that…

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Last year, the New York Post ran an article revealing that Ashley Madison, the portal that connects cheating spouses, is as popular as ever despite a catastrophic data breach in 2015. The article stated that the company’s US revenue increased by 17% in 2016 and over half of its active users are female. Until 1967,…

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You file for bankruptcy to put your mountain of unsecured debt behind you, but it doesn’t always proceed smoothly. Although it’s not a routine happening, a dispute can arise regarding a debt that you included on the petition. Should this happen, you, your trustee, the creditor, or another party involved in the case can file…

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Your spouse was unfaithful to you for over two years, although you only learned about it a few months ago. You’re hurt, angry, and wondering whether her actions will have any impact on the outcome of the divorce. Will she lose her bid for custody of the kids? Receive less of the marital estate? Has…

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When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York, your lenders may try to reclaim any assets that you posted as collateral for a loan. However, Section 722 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows you to keep this property by “redeeming” it, meaning that you pay the remaining debt balance or the current replacement…

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In 1991, a book came out called Divorce Hangover. It was about the emotional pain and turmoil that often accompanies divorce and suggested that like an alcohol hangover, it would eventually pass and leave you ready to cope with life again. The book acknowledged that divorce was a life-changing experience that aroused strong emotions like…

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Tattoos are so popular these days that entire magazines and websites are devoted to them. According to the History of Tattoos website, every year Americans spend $1.65 billion getting themselves inked. 70% of those who get a tattoo go on to get more than one and 20% get more than five. Although tattoos are trendy,…

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In 2015, the New York Times estimated that there are over 17,000 nail salons in New York City. Manicures and pedicures are beauty routines that millions of Americans obtain every week or month, but they can present health risks to their patrons when good business practices are not followed. Among the most common injuries experienced…

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A lot of elements come into play in personal injury cases. Concepts like causation, negligence, and duty of care all determine whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and financial losses. With some personal injury claims, an additional concept applies—foreseeability. Foreseeability refers to the issue of whether a reasonable person would have foreseen…

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We are often contacted by people who say that they have consulted with multiple personal injury attorneys across New York and failed to find one who will take their case. They’re confused and wondering why each consultation ends with a polite, “No.” Let us start by saying that most attorneys genuinely want to help you,…

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Last month, Business Insider ran a story indicating that student loan debt was driving a high number of bankruptcies. Citing a recent LendEDU study, it found that 32% of all consumers who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy have a significant amount of student loan debt- on average, 49% of their liability was related to the…

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Every year, hundreds (if not thousands) of personal injury claims are filed in courthouses all over New York State. Everywhere we turn, we see billboards, television commercials and online advertisements promoting law firms that promise to protect your rights and pursue your claim if you’re injured in a car accident or harmed by medical malpractice.…

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When you suspect your spouse of being unfaithful, it can be tempting to check their email, especially if you discover the password without their knowledge. You probably know that it’s an unethical thing to do, but are you aware that it might also violate federal law? One Chicago woman, Paula Epstein, put an auto-forward on…

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Today, practically everyone does their banking online. We pay our bills using a bank app or website, and when we need money, we head to the nearest ATM to enter a code and receive the cash. This practice may be routine, but it’s not always safe. A year ago this month, a 50-year-old man attacked…

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In December 2016, three people were killed and five injured in a multi-vehicle pile-up on the Cross Bronx Expressway. The accident, which closed all lanes for nearly six hours, occurred at around 5:45 a.m. near Jerome and Webster Avenues. A Ford pickup truck was caught between two tractor-trailers, crushing it and killing three men inside.…

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When someone files a lawsuit against you, you may be tempted to declare bankruptcy, especially if it involves a debt you can’t afford to repay. While bankruptcy can stop a lot of creditor lawsuits, such as collection actions by credit card companies and mortgage providers, some proceedings are not impacted by the automatic stay. Below…

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On May 6, passengers on a British Airways flight from London to Tampa Bay, Florida, encountered a terrifying ordeal. A severe episode of turbulence caused the flight to drop without warning, causing several people to hit the ceiling. Video taken immediately afterward showed suitcases and other personal items scattered across the cabin while passengers stared…

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If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy, your debt situation has probably reached crisis level. Perhaps your creditors are calling you on a daily basis, and one or more of them is threatening to sue you. Shouldn’t you see a bankruptcy attorney immediately and receive the protection of the automatic stay? In most cases, the…

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New York winters can be long and difficult, which is why we love summer. We can get from Point A to B without fighting the wind, snow, and freezing rain. Once the sidewalks and park pathways clear, we also start seeing the bright blue bikes offered by Citi Bike and other bike-share programs available across…

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Divorce has an uncanny way of bringing our most private circumstances to light. Even when the split is an amicable one, details like personal finances, a child’s special needs, and other intimate information take center stage so that they can be addressed and future plans made. Therefore, it’s an alarming thought that your family, friends,…

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently eliminated a 2016 rule that required companies with at least 250 employees to electronically submit annual reports on all worker injuries or illnesses. Its removal is being contested in court by New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. Businesses will still have to complete and…

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Home-cooked meals are supposed to be good for you, but New York has strict laws for those who want to run a business out of their kitchen. Homemade food can only be sold at food stands, farmer’s markets, and similar outlets, such as flea markets or agricultural fairs: selling online is illegal. “Cottage food industry”…

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Section 550 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows a trustee to sue creditors to recover any payments made by a debtor within the 90-day period prior to their bankruptcy filing. These actions, which as known as preference lawsuits, apply to payments that were made: On a previously incurred (as opposed to current) debt While the…

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When a couple divorces, it’s rare that both spouses make the decision together. In most cases, there is one person who has already gone through an “emotional” divorce and wants to make the split legal. They say they want to divorce, often to the shock and confusion of their partner. This individual is what is…

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Sometimes you can find yourself so deep in debt that you owe more on your household goods, car, and other real property than they are worth. If this happens and you don’t want to risk surrendering these assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a then Chapter 13 may allow you to “cram down” these debts,…

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